Our View: Why are we so narcissistic?


Narcissism is no longer considered a psychological disorder.

One must wonder what is going on in a society when a physiological disorder is removed from the handbook of mental disorders because the current definition doesn’t adequately differentiate between the mentally ill and everyone else.

Recently, it was announced that the 5th edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” would exclude narcissistic personality disorder. The reasoning behind this decision is that the current definition, which includes, “personality disorder with narcissistic and manipulative traits,” could describe too many people.

In order to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder, someone must exhibit five of these nine traits—all of which some believe could describe most people.

Psychologists have not been shy in voicing their criticisms of this decision. Those upset with the exemption of narcissistic personality disorder say they worry this illness will become ignored in the mental health community. There are four other disorders being expelled from the DSM when it is released in 2013. The other disorders are: paranoid, schizoid, histrionic and dependent personality disorders. Narcissism is receiving the most attention, not surprisingly, because people love to talk about themselves. Apparently, what people love even more is to discuss the possibility of no longer being able to talk about themselves.

We wonder where our culture became so self-obsessed that the everyday person cannot be sufficiently separated from those who need medical help. Perhaps it can be blamed on the reality TV phenomenon that gave birth to such gems as “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Teen Mom” and “Bridalplasty.” We have celebrities that are famous for being famous. Facebook and other social networking sites also make it easier than ever to be connected to ourselves all the time. As soon as this news broke, blogs were a buzz with jokes about how said blogger narrowly escaped the throws of being labeled a narcissist. We couldn’t help but wonder if what people were worried about is the possibility of being ignored. For some, and you know who you are, that is a fate much worse than death.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.